Part of my church’s mission is to serve the community. This past weekend our family helped a sweet but eccentric old widow in the historic district of downtown Naperville. Her small lot was completely enveloped by brush, bushes, and trees. A huge wall of nature prevented anyone from seeing her house, except for a dark tunnel that led to her house. Her requests were unusual: pulling up wire tomato cages that had been left in so long that huge tree roots had grown around them (but she wouldn’t pitch them); using rope to tie back branches so they did not hang over the sidewalk; cleaning storage containers with dirty rain water that had collected in plastic containers (I gently declined this request); and removing every blade of grass in the parkway without removing a single weed or “squirrel planted” seedling– just the grass.
Our biggest act of service was politely listening as she carried on a long dialogue about the hurtful neighbors, the incompetent city government, and with extra emphasis the foolishness of creating the historic district that her house resided in. Afterwards my wife insightfully commented about the number of times this widow had exclaimed, “You can’t live in the past” while she clearly seemed paralyzed to let time move forward.
Interesting story, but where are we going with this you might ask?
There is a revolution going on right now in marketing communication. How you market your business, organization, or cause is shifting. One doesn’t need to leap into every shiny new marketing object (blogging, Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking) that comes along, but one also can’t bury your marketing head in the sand. The other day I met a member of a local family-owned Wheaton consumer service business, and we exchanged cards. When I returned to the office, I decided I would follow up with an e-mail greeting and was surprised to discover the card lacking an e-mail address (this person was only a few years younger than I.) When I turned to Google, I found no web presence (not even a bad one.) A consumer service business not on the web is a dying business (although I recently agreed with a prospect about them not needing a website, lest you think I am being too harsh.)
My gentle encouragement: be open to new ways of marketing. If you stay in the past, you could soon find your business behind a huge overgrown wall and your business invisible – not good. Need an easy way to explore, subscribe to this blog (it is in the upper right corner) and get my posts in your email box.